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06th Sep 2021

“To us, I think that was a huge insult. How we got there was definitely not through luck”

Niall McIntyre

What you see is what you get with Vikki Wall.

It could be that, on the day after winning an All-Ireland final as player-of-the-match, it’s easy to be relaxed and it’s easy to be straight up but if you know anything about Meath’s centre forward, if you’ve even just watched her play a game of football, you’ll know that this has always been her way.

Dublin were beaten. To many it was a shock but to Wall and her team-mates it was anything but. That’s her view on Sunday’s thriller of an All-Ireland ladies football final and as she talked to Colm Parkinson in an interview on Monday’s GAA Hour Show, if one thing was clear it was that this forward wasn’t about to go on some charm-offensive.

“I think there were a few interviews done during the week where we would have heard the mention of luck, and being lucky. I think to us, that’s a huge insult and I think how we got there was definitely not through luck,” says the Dunboyne player.

They didn’t reach the All-Ireland final through luck and luck had nothing to do with them winning it either. More-so, it was their confidence, their honesty and their willingness to work, a willingness that, in many ways, manifested itself in Wall’s own powerful and at times breath-taking forward bursts forward. Some said she took too many steps but Wall was again resolute.

“It’s hard not to take steps when you’ve someone hanging off the back of you so we’ll leave it at that!”

“It was through hard work (we made it here) and I think everyone that’s on the team, management, everything… no stone was unturned,” she continued.

“The work the whole panel put in – we’ve 40 odd girls at training every week and it doesn’t matter who’s marking you, whether they’re named on the panel or not, it’s always going to be so competitive. That’s where the belief that’s in this team comes from.”

Meath have seen dark days but those days make today all the sweeter.

“The 40 point loss to Cork has been mentioned a lot, but we lost to Sligo and got relegated to Division Three. Offaly travelled down once with 15 or 16 players and annihilated us one year too.

“But it’s been building. It’s been about getting the interest back in, building from the underage. Eamonn (Murray) managed me at under-16 and minor too and the relationship he has with us all is exceptional…I mean if you give a terrible pass in training, Eamonn is the type of man who’ll still be encouraging you ‘that’s class,’ he’ll say ‘that’s class.'”

If Murray was the mastermind then these Meath players, from one all the way up to number 40, were willing followers and if that took hell, if that took high-water, they weren’t going to stop. That’s your magic formula.

“Fitness was something we identified at the start of the year. We just said that couldn’t be a reason why we wouldn’t win a game, so we really worked hard on on that.”

All the work paid off on a famous Sunday in September…